An Analysis of Business Intelligence Systems

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This report is an analysis of business intelligence systems currently available to our business. As an introduction, I will address in general terms why we need to purchase a business intelligence system and how it will aid our business. Then I will discuss several applications in detail, paying particular attention to the information and analysis capabilities of each, and the hardware and software required for each. Finally, I will conclude with a short evaluation of the products discussed and offer a recommendation as to the best application for our business. I will pay particular attention to IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle. First off, why do we need a business intelligence system for our business? Simply put, an effective business intelligence system can help us streamline almost any aspect of our data management and analysis processes. From organizing daily financial reports and data, to analyzing and predicting market trends, to new business development, a business intelligence system can provide all of these functions and more. The key is clearly defining our focus. To do this, we need to decide what data is most important to us; specifically, what data, if managed in more detail, will help our business reach its goals. Once we have defined our area of interest, we can begin investigating the specific business intelligence software and applications that will apply. Additionally, we also need to look at the acquisition of this business intelligence system from a financial standpoint. How much will this system cost us up front, and how much will it cost us over time in software upgrades and patches? Are the financial costs of the system an acceptable trade-off with the expected long-term business growth and profits which the system should help in providing? Finally, how will this system integrate with our already existing business intelligence systems? Will we need to completely overhaul our IT architecture to install a new intelligence...
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